Acute can mean different things depending on how it’s used:
- characterized by sharpness or severity (acute pain)
- having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course (an acute disease)
- providing or concerned with short-term medical care especially for serious acute disease or trauma (acute care, acute medication)
Most discussions of Migraine and headache involving acute refer to acute medications, medications taken for an individual headache or Migraine as opposed to preventive medications or IV infusions used to treat intractable Migraine or headache. Abortive medications are examples of acute medications.
You can read more about acute medications in:
For more terms, see our Migraine and Headache Glossary.
Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.